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Unequal Treatment

Unequal Treatment

Christian group scores win against university's discrimination

February 10th, 2019 by Gazette Staff in Opinion Editorial

Many have commented on the way free speech is expected to bow to what is deemed politically correct these days.

That's especially true on college campuses, where the fear of giving offense has replaced the idea of free speech and free expression.

And whoa to any who do not follow the groupthink.

Business Leaders in Christ, for example, is a registered group at the University of Iowa. Or at least it was until it would not allow a gay student to assume a leadership role, which requires a statement of faith that includes agreement that sex is proper only between a married male-female couple.

The university said that was a violation of the school's human rights policy prohibiting discrimination. So it yanked the registration, which meant, among other things, Business Leaders in Christ could not reserve meeting space on campus, get money from student activity fees or use most university services.

The group took the university to court. And on Wednesday scored a significant early victory.

U.S. District Judge Stephanie Rose granted a permanent injunction barring the school from pulling the group's registration.

In her ruling, the judge noted the university allows other groups to limit membership based on certain criteria, including race, gender and religion. So why should Business Leaders in Christ be denied the same privilege?

"The Constitution does not tolerate the way defendants chose to enforce the human rights policy. Particularly when free speech is involved, the uneven application of any policy risks the most exacting standard of judicial scrutiny, which the defendants have failed to withstand," she wrote.

Makes sense to us. The university should not single out groups—Christians, for example—for scrutiny and discipline it is not willing to impose equally.

For now, the university is complying with the injunction and considering options. There may be an appeal.

Considering the current Supreme Court, that may be welcome. A final ruling against the university could put a deep dent in this politically correct charade.

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